While many fans were prepared for a great performance, the reality proved to be much better than the anticipation. Tonic demonstrated what an awesome power-pack it was when combined with opening band Summercamp at a recent Numbers show.
The show, which lasted about three hours, confirmed what a great breeding ground California is for different kinds of music. Los Angeles folk rock merged with Santa Barbara's alternative punk to supply the needed versatility.
Throughout the program, atmosphere played the most important role in uniting the audience and the performers. From group-style singalongs on songs like "Lemon Parade" to Emmerson Hart, Tonic's lead vocalist, recognizing a fan from a previous show, the club was in harmony.
Dressed in all black, Hart captivated everyone with his penetrating stare and melodic voice accompanied by the strong guitar backup Tonic is so well-known for. In the middle of the show, an Irish tune provided a swing everyone could move to. A song that was not on Tonic's debut album was also introduced to the local fans.
The climax of the night had to be when the song "If You Could Only See" was surprisingly introduced to the spectators. It was all lighters and humming after that. After exiting and taunting the crowd with a screaming contest, Tonic said its farewells and promised a reunion soon.
Maybe it was because the majority of the audience was there to see Tonic that an unleashed rage surged in Summercamp. Song after song, from "Pure Juice" to "Should I Walk Away," the band demanded attention from the crowd. The fact that Summercamp occupied the I-am-just-listening-to-you-because-your-the-opening-act slot did not hinder the band's ability to express music in its own style.
The band members - Tim Collin (guitars, vocals), Sean McCue (guitars, vocals), Misha Feldman (bass, backing vocals) and Tony Sevener (drums, cymbals, backing vocals) - were a perfect appetizer that needed no entree.